Friday Finds – 22nd May

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

For those who have lost track, it is indeed Friday again. I hope this Friday finds you well. I’m back with another quick roundup of some bits and pieces I’ve come across this week.

First a similar piece to one I shared last week. It’s easy to get frustrated when we feel we are running more slowly, but often there is good reason and stress can be a major factor.

Some useful lessons from endurance sport which might help up as we continue to navigate the stress and uncertainties of our time:

And some sage advice around dealing with FOMO:

An interesting longer read which considers the legendary Jim Fixx against the current context:

As well as some advice from Brad Stulberg around how important having a routine is right now. It’s definitely helped me to have a structure to my day as I work from home.

Meanwhile, away from Covid-19, Alex Hutchinson has been contemplating what fast marathons might look like in the future. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see some elite racing again soon.

And finally, a new world record – but not quite as you might expect. I can’t believe how fast this guy can run while DRIBBLING A BASKETBALL!!

That’s it for this week!

Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands.
The Running Princess 

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 8

I definitely feel like I’m settled into a routine. It’s been 8 weeks of lockdown now and the longest break I have ever had from school is 7 weeks (most years 6 weeks), so although I am still teaching (albeit in a very different way) I have now been away from my classroom for longer than ever before. I joke every so often about the pre-Corona days and the things we could do (being next to people in public! Browsing in shops! Having get-togethers!) but the habits of social distancing and isolation are now threatening to become almost a preference now. When we actually begin to ease some of the measures here in Scotland (we are now operating a little differently to England on that one) I worry that I will feel overwhelmed by being around people again! I’m still finding remote teaching a challenge, but outside of that I’m fairly content with the way I’m spending my days, including how I’m exercising. Here’s how the week looked:

Monday – 3.5 miles + garden workout + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 6 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Saturday – 7 miles
Sunday – 10 miles

Another week, another theme. This week, my Paris Breakfast Run tops. I have experienced this on the days before 4 out of my 5 Paris marathon experiences and they are some of my favourite running memories, so it was fun to wear them and remember.

I’m not sure how else I might theme my runs now, so will have to get my thinking cap on…🤔

Outside of my daily routine of run-work-lunch-work-workout-yoga-dinner, I do have a few other highlights to share:

Monday was packed with meetings and work phone calls, so my Hatha yoga class that evening was welcome. And yoga cat put in an appearance again!

Prior to that I had a go at drawing Donald Duck by following another of those awesome tutorial videos. His neck is a bit skinny but otherwise I’m really happy with this one.

Tuesday was exciting because it was day 50 (!!) of my run streak. I never expected it to last that long and at the time of writing it’s still happening.

I also tried a slightly different character on Tuesday: Chip from Beauty and the Beast. I was actually surprised to find it a bit trickier than expected and I had a tough time with the body shape. I think he should be a bit plumper but he’s still recognisable.

On Wednesday morning Steve was feeling a bit off – nothing to do with Covid-19, more of a stomach issue – and I needed to go out and get him something to help settle it. I ended up going to Home Bargains since I had a few other bits and pieces I was needing to get in there and it actually was one of the most exciting things I have done in weeks. That really tells you what my life has become 😂

After all that excitement, when work was done for the day I had a go at drawing Daisy Duck. Truth be told, I think this is my favourite one so far.

And with Steve feeling better, he decided he fancied dessert after our dinner so he nipped out to see what he could find and hit the jackpot with some sticky toffee pudding. My favourite!

Thursday felt quite busy. I had lots of work to do then a really long Zoom meeting in the afternoon, after which my brain felt a bit fried so I went out on another quick excursion to collect a refill on the routine treatments the cats get to keep fleas and worms at bay (they’re on a health plan which includes this so I have basically already paid for it but had run out). They were set up really well for things like that and the receptionist explained it all to me on the phone before I set off, so I felt really comfortable with going. Sooty obviously wasn’t wanting Smokey to be the only one who got his photo in this post, so she made sure to look really cute!

We’ve probably fallen into the worrying trap of having something sweet after dinner but there was nothing for Thursday night so I decided it was the to open these up. The pack says they are “sharing size”. Can anyone explain what that means? 😂

I actually worked quite a long “shift” on Friday as there were a few things I wanted to get finished up before the weekend and various things had stopped me sorting them out earlier in the week. After spending most of the day in front of my computer, I was really grateful for the chance to get out into the garden for my workout!

We left it a bit late for a Friday night post-fajitas movie so instead we watched a few episodes of Gavin and Stacey. We’ve seen them before (and have the DVD boxset) but it’s been fun to watch them again on the iPlayer.

Saturday was very much the usual (for lockdown) routine: run, bacon roll, parkrun quiz (we were AWFUL this week – 5/15 to equal our personal worst! 😳) then I did some bits and pieces in the afternoon. At least I was still feeling cheery from having a new pair of shorts to wear on my run!

I got back from my morning run to find a medal waiting for me. This was from a virtual race company I have been using quite regularly and was in aid of key worker charities.

I have been meaning to watch Peter Pan as I have been reading the Twisted Tales book based on it and was in need of a refresher on some of the details so I put that on Disney+ while I sorted out a project in my spare room/work space.

My project was to hang my medals. I already had some hanging bars on the wall but had bought some new ones to extend my displays. Steve drilled the holes for them last week but then we found we didn’t have the right size of screws to finish putting them up. He had bought some during the week so the bars were all up ready for me to display my medals.

My marathon and half marathon medals

All my other race medals

Some of my virtual race medals

I’m going to need some more hanging bars to finish displaying my virtual race medals, but I’m pleased to have sorted out the other ones. There is one other display with the medals from my 2014 challenge, but that one didn’t need any attention.

As it turned out, this was quite a lengthy task and Peter Pan wasn’t long enough to see me through so I also watched volume 2 of The Disney Family Singalong while I finished up. I also had a little craft project to get started (details of that next week once it’s done) so got that underway before heading for a bath. Oh, and while I was doing all that, my “helper” slept through…on a piece of bubble wrap I had been using to protect my medals while I was waiting to hang them 😹

I also came across this fun website where you can create a Disney-themed avatar of yourself. I passed a happy few minutes on this then shared the website with friends and family so they could do it too!

Steve and I then had a lovely evening watching this week’s movie choice: The Incredibles 2. Neither of us had seen that one before and we enjoyed it. We also decided to try a gin we bought a while back at a gin festival and hadn’t opened. I insisted on having mine in one of the glasses I got in my work secret Santa gift at Christmas. Perfect for me!

Sunday was also fairly standard. I actually had another new pair of shorts to wear (running every day = lots of clean kit needed!). I already have this design in a pair of leggings but I love it so went for the shorts as well.

And then it was all the usual stuff: food shopping, afternoon snack of hot cross buns, the next episode of The Mandalorian (dear god I love that Baby Yoda!), and I did a little more work on my craft project before dinner, then I had my usual Sunday bath.

All in all, I’m really becoming a creature of habit, falling into a routine and increasingly trying to get on top of some household projects I’ve never gotten round to before since I do have a little more time available (and inclination to do it since I can’t be “missing out” on any other activities!). I’m not sure if I will remain so content through the summer though since holidays and trips are looking unlikely this year.

What have you been up to lately – any projects?
In general, how are you feeling?

Friday Finds – 15th May

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

How are you?
I’ve had a pretty busy week this week with some big reports to get written and loads of brain-frying video meetings, so it’s going to be a quick post from me today to round up a few odds and ends I’ve come across this week. Here we go…

First, a story with a link to Coronavirus. Many of us have changed the way we train right now and people have found all kinds of novel ways to carry on as “normally” as possible. There have also been all kinds of DIY marathons, often in very small spaces, but this one seems a bit mad, even by my standards:

I also liked this one. I’ve been mulling over how running and marathons might have equipped me to deal with the current situation and this post neatly pulls it together:

With so many changes in the world, the cancellation of races can seem insignificant, but the importance of running, structure and routine has become increasingly apparent. I really enjoyed looking at these lessons our future selves should remember when we finally move beyond these strange times:

I always enjoy the Sweat Science column from Alex Hutchinson, so was pleased to see this one that helped explain why mental fatigue (like a switch to sitting in front of a computer all day) affects our performance:

And finally, if everything that’s going on in the world right now rather than motivate you to run more, has actually sucked away all motivation to run, then you’re not alone. Here’s a little bit of advice to help you deal with that, whether you want to get back out there or simply forgive yourself for choosing not to.

Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands.
The Running Princess

 

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 7

Seven weeks! I don’t know about you, but I may be starting to forget what “normal” life is like. This was a funny week for me as a few things I had been looking forward to should have taken place, but I did my best to create my own fun and distract myself from what might have been. I also continued the run streak and remained really consistent with workouts and yoga. I think it’s safe to say that routine is now firmly established.

Monday – 3.5 miles + mini workout in living room + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 6 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Saturday – 7 miles
Sunday – 10 miles

This week’s running theme fell into two parts. On Monday, I wore the last of my Paris marathon souvenir tops to complete the set from last week.

Then Tuesday-Friday it was the turn of my Run Disney Magic Run Weekend finisher tops. Before all of this madness I was supposed to be on a flight to Paris on the Friday for the inaugural Princess Run Weekend (all cancelled of course) and I was REALLY needing a bit of Disney in my days to make me feel a bit better about it. Keeping my fingers firmly crossed that this one is in the plans for the future because I was really looking forward to it.

It was also a shorter work week with Friday being the start of the “holiday” weekend so only four days of remote teaching to contend with before the long weekend. We celebrated with a bonus Thursday night beer!

This was actually quite a good week (as lockdown weeks go). Here are some highlights:

During my Monday night Zoom yoga class (that’s yoga via Zoom, not some exciting new form of yoga. Mind you, I wonder what “Zoom Yoga” would entail…) this daft boy decided that the best place to be was right beside me. He was there at the start of the class, wandered off to find his sister, then returned to his post and remained there for the rest of the class, perfectly content with the odd ear rub or nose bump as I moved. He’s such a mummy’s boy 😹.

Then on Tuesday I arrived home from my run to find two exciting things waiting for me – my April virtual run medal and my new rainbow T-shirt. Those really cheered me up, as did the sun staying out for my garden workout in the afternoon.

On Wednesday I thought I would have a go at a bit more Disney drawing. First I followed the tutorial for “pie-eyed” Mickey:

And then loaded up the step by step images in the WDW app to draw this one:

Not perfect, but I’m happy with them given my limited abilities with this kind of thing!

And it was still sunny!

Thursday was the last working day of the week, so when I was finished with all my tasks for the day I headed out into the garden for a workout:

Then enjoyed a quiet evening of tv. I even watched The Disney Family Singalong on Disney+ which was great fun but did bring “Disney tears” to my eyes.

I made sure to make Friday feel different to a work (at home) Friday so that I would notice it being a holiday. I read in bed for a bit so I was a little later going for my run and carried out a few household tasks in the morning, but in the afternoon I tried to make things a bit more fun. I watched The Little Mermaid Live on Disney+ whilst having a go at some Disney crafts (more on that later) before heading into the garden for my workout.

And after our usual (for lockdown) Friday fajitas, we finished off watching The Skywalker Saga by loading up The Rise of Skywalker on Disney+. I really enjoyed this one.

But it was Saturday that was by far my favourite day of the week.

Since the Princess Run Weekend was cancelled (😢) a Facebook group I’m in put together some virtual events instead. It was all free so no medals or anything (although we were challenged to make our own!), simply to dress in our Run Disney costumes and run our chosen distance. We were also sent race bibs we could wear. Even though I had organised my running costumes for the weekend, I decided to keep them under wraps for now in the hope of debuting them at a future Run Disney event, so instead opted for my Anna costume from the Disneyland Paris 10k last September (minus the pink cape – that seemed a little too much for running the streets of home!). I wanted to do what I could to recreate a Run Disney event day experience so started with my flat lay:

And while there were no character stops en route, I took inspiration from the parkrun road signs challenge and took photos with road signs to spell out Run Disney (yes, I did spend my running time during the week working out what they would be!).

It was actually quite a humid morning so the stops were quite welcome!

When I arrived home I gathered up all my props (including my craft efforts from the previous afternoon) and corralled poor Steve into being my Photopass photographer for some post-run pictures.

I awarded myself a homemade medal (craft project number one):

Took my picture in front of the (very far away?) castle (craft project number two):

And enjoyed some character meets. It was good of Minnie Mouse to embrace the princess theme and wear her Belle-inspired gold ballgown 😂

Olaf was an odd choice for a princess-themed event, but since he paired nicely with my costume choice I was pleased to see him!

And of course The Big Cheese himself was there to meet me in his sports gear:

Yes it was a bit mad and certainly not the run I had originally planned to be having that day, but actually pulling all that together was fun and I really enjoyed creating my own event. It gave me something to focus on and cheered me up since my trip was cancelled.

When I was satisfied that I had got as much from my homemade Run Disney event as I could, I got changed and we got on with the weekly parkrun quiz. I felt like we were guessing quite a lot so was pleased to equal our PB with 12/15. That really kept my good mood going!

I continued with my Disney theming in the afternoon by heading off to my spare room to watch Tangled while starting to sort out my medal displays. I also liberally sprayed this room spray to make me feel like I was in a Disney resort!

I had ordered some new hanging brackets for my medals as there wasn’t enough space for them all, but needed to clear the existing ones to make them easier to install. As it turned out, we didn’t have the right size of screws to finish putting the new ones up, but I did manage to get my new Run Disney-inspired one on the wall and happily created a display.

My Sunday run was another 10 miles to bring me to 40 miles for the week once again. I wanted to give a little nod to the fact that this was another day when I should have been in Disneyland Paris, so opted for this top because by running both of the races I would have completed the Cinderella Challenge. See? There is method in my madness haha!

I also enjoyed coming across this fun display while I was out:

Then in the afternoon (after the food shopping and a socially-distanced driveway chat with my parents) we watched the first episode of The Mandalorian. I’m looking forward to the rest now to see how the story develops (plus that Baby Yoda is so darned cute!).

And so week 7 of lockdown came to an end. While some parts of the country will be a little less restricted in the coming days, here in Scotland the only thing to have changed is that we can go out for exercise more than once (but still have to be close to home). Looks like I will be continuing to embrace this new normal for a while yet!

Have you recreated any running or other events/trips whilst in lockdown?
How has your running/training changed as a result of lockdown/quarantine measures?

Friday Finds – 8th May

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

As if the world wasn’t confusing enough right now, today (Friday) in the UK is the early May bank holiday which is usually on a Monday but was moved this year as part of the plans to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Right now, I was supposed to be in Disneyland Paris getting ready for the inaugural Princess Run weekend and instead I’m at home finding ways to amuse myself. All for good reasons, but I’m still feeling a bit odd today so keeping up with my Friday post will hopefully add a sense of normality.

As has become my habit in these strange times, I’ll start with a few topical pieces, starting with the issue of face masks which is cropping up everywhere right now as different parts of the world are giving different pieces of advice on this one. Please make sure you abide by any rules wherever you are.

First, a piece in The Guardian:

And one from last month in Outside:

Also in Outside, Martin Fritz Huber examines the state of play with marathons this year:

And in Runner’s World an interesting insight into how Garmin users in the UK are adapting their training and workouts as the lockdown continues:

Delving into the articles I saved but didn’t get a chance to share, perhaps you missed this Strava survey into any we run. I suspect many have found their reasons shifting as the world has changed around us and I would be curious to know what some of the answers might be now.

This piece was written at the start of the year, but for me it has greater resonance right now as I am running more, so perhaps worth returning to as a reminder that running more can ultimately help performance (when structured the right way). Are you running more or less at the moment?

And finally, Cosmopolitan wouldn’t usually be a source I would expect to include in a post about running, but I came across this a while back and was intrigued: a running song created scientifically to help boost performance. Personally I no longer listen to music when I run, preferring podcasts or my own thoughts, but I’d be interested to know what those who like to have music think of this one.

Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands.
The Running Princess

 

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 6

Every week when I start to set my post up, I type “blah blah” at the top as a placeholder until I know what I want the introduction to say. To be honest, this week I think “blah blah” might be all I have as the days are merging into one with little of interest to separate them. Most of the time I have no idea if something I’m thinking of happened early today, last week or last month! On the plus side, I do feel I’ve settled into a reasonable routine and am pleased to be fitting in running, strength work and yoga consistently. Here’s what I did last week:

Monday – 3.5 miles + living room workout + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Friday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 7.2 miles
Sunday – 10 miles

For this week I had another goal in mind for my running – I wanted to hit 40 miles since I’ve never had a weekly total that started with a 4 before. Given that the previous week totalled 38.8, I knew it wouldn’t take much and was really just a slight stretching – no more than half a mile at a time – of some of my runs through the week. By adding an additional mile onto my Saturday run I was already at 30 miles, leaving me with a nice 10 on Sunday to finish things off. It’s nice to see the climbing graph of my recent mileage, but now I’ve reached 40 I don’t think I’ll be looking to add any more on right now. Need to be sensible!

My other mini goal was my theme for the week – to wear all the souvenir tops I bought any time I ran the Paris marathon. Although I have run it 5 times, I somehow have 8 additional tops, mostly from the expo but some were things I ordered before/after the event as they were special edition purchases. Of course there are only 7 days in the week so the last one will be carried over to Monday.

I also took delivery of the two new pairs of trainers I ordered last week so had those to enjoy trying out as well. My favourites are definitely the ones with the colourful soles. So bouncy and fresh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the rest of the week, there were some ups and downs…

Monday was tough. Microsoft Teams wasn’t playing ball, which made remote teaching even more challenging. Then to add insult to injury, there were wifi problems around the country which were definitely affecting us – including during my yoga class on Zoom. Thankfully we managed to work around and I still enjoyed the class. I was also forced inside for my workout due to a bizarre hail shower in the afternoon. I had hoped to be outside using the TRX, but instead it was the resistance band in the living room. On a happier note, I finished watching Malory Towers (which I LOVED) and we watched the last episode of Twin after dinner. I kind of feel like that might have been left open for another series.

Fortunately the weather was much better on Tuesday so I got out into the garden for my workout.

But on Wednesday we were back inside thanks to rain. Sigh. Although I did come across this on my morning run:

And back in the garden again with a tough TRX workout on Thursday.

Then inside again on Friday. What a weird week!

It was actually a pretty busy week as far as work was concerned, so not much time to do anything interesting during the day, but in the evenings Steve and I tried some new TV programmes. First we caught up with The Nest on the iPlayer since we hadn’t watched it when it was first shown, and then we stated to watch Normal People. Very different programmes but both very good.

We also had a birthday on Friday – the kitties turned TWO! And apparently it’s an exhausting age 😹

At least they’re still best pals!

As ever, the best part of the week was probably the weekend, even without the opportunity to go out and do something fun.

I began Saturday with a little reading in bed before heading out for my notparkun run. I have been running just over 10k on a Saturday, but as part of stretching out my distances, I ran 7 miles as that took me to a rolling total of 30 for the week. Steve was on a FaceTime call with his brother when I got home so I watched the stream of the Disneyland Paris fireworks which had been put out a day or so before. It made me cry Disney tears, but then that happens when I’m there as well! Also, when I got back I found that my new parkrun apricot T-shirt had arrived. I had faffed around and been indecisive about what to get printed on it, but sorted it out in the end:

Big Six refers to this local landmark which I regularly pass on my runs:

The house actually belongs to my friend’s granny and when her husband, who was an architect, originally built it he went for what was, at the time, quite a unique design. He was advised to make sure the house number was really visible so painted this giant 6 on the garage and it has been that way ever since. Steve says it looks like where they keep Thunderbird Six 😂

Once Steve’s call was done we got on with the usual Saturday post-run plan of a bacon roll and the parkrun quiz.

Bit of a poor showing this week with just 5/15 – a new personal worst for the quiz – but I was entertained by the deliberate misspelling in the title of the quiz as homage to little Mary, the youngest daughter of host Vassos, who regaled us all with a story at the end of the last quiz and took her own unique approach to spelling! I had just been listening to Vassos talking about it on the Free Weekly Timed podcast when I was out for my run so this reference made me smile.

In the afternoon I decided to try something new. I’ve never been any good at anything artistic, but was aware that there were lots of Disney drawing tutorials available which take you step-by-step through how to draw various characters. You can do this live in Disney parks (with your drawing as a fun souvenir) and on the one occasion I’ve done it I drew a decent character, so fancied giving it a go now I have little time on my hands – I even went as far as ordering a sketch book online!

I started with the contemporary rendering of The Big Cheese himself (of course!).

And heartened by it being at least recognisable (albeit a little wonky), I had a go at Olaf from Frozen.

A bit iffy in places, especially the arm and hand, but again recognisable. So I tried one more – Winnie The Pooh.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with those efforts and plan to try a few more as my time at home  goes on. Having the sketchbook means I will have something concrete to show for my time spent in lockdown and will be something nice to look through later.

And our day was rounded off with a movie. We’re getting there with the Star Wars movies and this week was The Last Jedi. Just one more in the Skywalker Saga to go!

My Sunday began with a 10 mile run (slightly less than last week but I didn’t want to push it too much since I was adding a little more across the week). A highlight came early on when my attention was caught by these little guys peeking over a garden fence and I had to cross the road to have a closer look:

So nice!

The run felt good and set me up to venture out for the food shopping after lunch. I also had to fill my car up as the petrol light had come on when I went out for the shopping the weekend before and I just hadn’t done anything about it. I was so shocked at how cheap the petrol was, right when I’m not really using much. Typical!

The rest of the day was relaxing with some tv, a nice dinner and my usual Sunday night bath and glass of wine.

I feel a bit torn about my experience of lockdown. I have plenty to occupy me and am definitely enjoying not having to get up so early or have a long commute. It’s nice to “go home” for lunch too. In that regard, I feel quite rested, but remote teaching is a challenge and I’m definitely missing having my pupils in front of me and being surrounded by my lovely colleagues – video meetings just aren’t the same! Oh, and going for a haircut wouldn’t go amiss right now haha!

How are you coping with lockdown measures?
Have you tried anything new recently?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 5

The first week back at work meant a degree of routine coming back into my days (although my grasp of the actual day remains tenuous at best!). When it came to training I was able to sustain my running streak, continue with yoga on weeknights and, most pleasingly, managed some kind of strength/core session each weekday as well. I noted last week that I was disappointed not to be making time for this, and felt that I just wasn’t motivated by the idea of a living room workout. After talking to Steve about it, he actually went down to the studio to collect some kit and since the weather was great all week, the draw of the “back garden gym” was far stronger and I really enjoyed these workouts.

Here’s how my week panned out:

Monday – 5k + living room workout + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + garden circuits + home yoga
Wednesday – 4 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Saturday – 10k
Sunday – 11.6 miles (recorded as 4.3 + 7.3 in one outing)

When you run every day, there’s not much of note to really talk about. I REALLY enjoy getting out for my daily exercise and getting out in the sunshine each day was amazing! What has recently become my “thing” for this accidental run streak is to theme my running tops each week and this time it was my finisher tops from my Paris marathon experiences. The snag is I’ve “only” (😂) done it 5 times so that only covered my Monday-Friday runs, but as I’ll discuss further down in this post, I already had plans for my runs on those days so it wasn’t a big deal.

My Monday run was kept to 5k as I designated this one for my Run for Heroes run. If you’re in the UK then you will have seen this one on social media. The idea is to run (or walk, or hop, or whatever) 5k, donate £5 to the charities supporting key workers and nominate 5 people to do the same: Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5. As soon as I saw it I knew I would be nominated so was totally ready to do my bit.

Unfortunately it was a living room workout that day as Steve didn’t collect his kit until Tuesday, but at least I made the time and knew other options were coming.

And as it happened, my Tuesday workout was so much more fun. Steve collected a mat, some cones, the Core Momentum Trainers, additional kettlebells (we only had one at home before that) and a TRX with the attachment to put it over a door. So much better than just the resistance band I already had. Steve created a circuits workout in the garden and although hard work, I enjoyed it so much more.

Another Tuesday highlight came in the form of dessert. I had been tidying up in the kitchen and came across some leftover sponge fingers from Christmas time, so Steve made one of his infamous trifles to use them up. Yummy!

I had another couple of garden workouts on Wednesday and Thursday since the weather was so gorgeous:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a bit of a First World emergency on Thursday when we realised we were just about out of coffee – we get ours from an amazing local business that grinds the beans for whatever apparatus you are using to make your coffee. They are shut right now, of course, but are operating an online business so we ordered a couple of bags after I finished working for the day. We expected to have it delivered by the weekend but about 3 hours later, while we were joining the nation in watching The Big Night In (we clapped from our living room this time) the doorbell rang and it was the owner of the shop dropping our coffee off on our doorstep on his way home. Incredible service!

On Friday I bit the bullet and ordered some new bits and pieces of running kit I have been needing. I rotate several pairs of shoes but have been conscious that a couple of pairs were needing to be retired so used my Vitality Fitness Rewards benefit to order a pair I wanted then added a second, cheaper, pair too. I had also thrown away some socks as I had worn a hole in one sock and a couple of other pairs were looking close to having holes too, so more socks are also on their way.

Of course I had another garden workout. And no, neither of us are making much effort to change clothes when we don’t have to!

Then after our Friday fajitas we settled down to watch the first of the Star Wars sequels (neither of us have seen these) – The Force Awakens. It was good, but did mean getting to grips with some new characters again.

Inspired by the weekly virtual runs posted by Sparkle Athletic, I decided to dress myself as Minnie Mouse for my notparkrun run on Saturday. It actually was a really cheerful thing to do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suspect these two pictures accurately sum up why I wanted to do this:

That said, I am finding a lot of cheer from Disney, I’m just sad that the trips I had booked for this year are either cancelled or hanging in the balance right now 😭

Our Saturday post-run routine is now to have coffee and a bacon roll while we do the weekly parkrun quiz. While 11/15 is not a PB, I was pleased to have full marks on two of the rounds (although that does highlight how woeful our score in the other round was haha!).

I then tackled our cupboard under the stairs (aka the Harry Potter cupboard) as I wanted to put a small shelf unit in there that we had previously been using in the shed and get things really tidied up and organised. It was feeling really cluttered and hard to find the things we wanted. Of course as soon as I emptied it out and put the shelves in, I hit an obstacle as two curious kitties had to conduct a thorough inspection!

But once that was done I was able to relax and watch the YouTube stream of Love Never Dies from the night before. I hadn’t seen this before and found it unexpectedly sad. Good, but sad.

Then I rounded off my afternoon with the ultimate indulgence of a bowl of ice cream whilst having my bath. I’m getting ideas above my station now 👸🏻

Sunday should have been the London marathon and even though a marathon wasn’t in my plans for this year, I do always enjoy watching London on TV. Because of the postponement, a number of organisers came together to organise the 2.6 Challenge to help raise funds for the charities that are missing on out crucial funds with so many races and charity events being off. I know that I’m lucky to be in a job and getting my salary just now so wanted to make sure I played my part. That said, I didn’t want to ask for sponsorship so after much back and forth over a suitable challenge, decided to build something into my Sunday long run and make a donation of my own to Cats Protection. Since the focus was on Home Heroes, I opted for 26 loops around the block and was quite surprised when this clocked in at 4.3 miles. Oh, and I dug out my “Kitty Kit”, including the ears!

 

At the end of the last loop I stopped my watch, took a moment to take my photo then restarted my watch to record the rest of my long run – a further 7.3 miles to total 11.6 for the day. I was keen to pass 11 miles as I had worked out that this would take me to my highest weekly mileage ever.

After lunch and food shopping, we went home via my mum and dad’s as there was some more rhubarb for us (and some leftover chicken for the cats) that mum wanted me to collect. My sister has been experimenting with making face masks so I gave her some fabric and she quickly made one for me.

Then we watched the last episode of The Imagineering Story (thanks Disney – now I want to go to Shanghai!) and I took care of some “lesson planning” for the week ahead 😂

If only!

Have you found any new ways to make your time at home more fun or productive?
Did you take part in the 2.6 Challenge (or any other recent fundraising challenge)?